SIDNEY — Students in the New Bremen and Riverside Local School Districts had two additional hours of summer vacation Wednesday, Aug. 14, when the first day of school was delayed for two hours because of dense fog. Jackson Center and Hardin-Houston students will go to school Thursday, Aug. 15, for the first time in the new school year.
New Bremen Local School
While New Bremen students are starting thee 2019-2020 school year, school officials are looking toward the future and the construction of a new elementary school building.
“The wet spring weather delayed the start of construction on the building; however, progress is being made now that summer has arrived,” said Superintendent Jason Schrader. “Most of the concrete footers have been completed and walls started as of mid-July. Over the next couple of months block walls will be laid and concert floors poured. We will be posting construction pictures on the building project page of the school website as progress continues.
“We hope to get the structure enclosed before winter decides to come this year. The building was projected to be completed by August of 2020, but that date will most likely be pushed back depending on weather conditions this December and January. Therefore, we are developing two school calendars for the start of the 2020 school year. One calendar with school starting in the new building and one starting in the existing building with a fall move. We will be posting the calendar options online and the Board of Education will look to approve one of the two 2020 school calendars early next year as the construction timeline becomes more predictable,” said Schrader.
With the current school year, Amy Burnett was welcomed to the district to its special education staff. Burnett had worked int he district through the Auglaize County ESC for the 2018-19 school year.
Veronica Bell was also hired as a special education tutor for the year.
Prior to the start of the school year, staff members participated in four days of professional development from Aug. 8-13. The staff was introduced to a concept the district is exploring for students to receive industry level credentialing and participate in internships with local businesses. This concept is still in the developmental stages but will most likely be available to the students within the next year.
On opening day, the staff be participated in a full scale safety training in cooperation with the New Bremen Police, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Departments. The Auglaize County Sherriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies will be facilitating the simulation.
“We would like to thank all the participating agencies involved in the planning of this event to help ensure the safety of our students and staff,” said Schrader
And the district will hold a final open house at the current elementary/middle school building..
“We have an community open house scheduled for the (elementary/middle school) old high school building on Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will be the last year we occupy the facility. The facility is scheduled for demolition during the fall of 2020.”
Riverside Local Schools
Wednesday was the first day for first through 12th graders at Riverside Local Schools in DeGraff. The first day for preschool and kindergarten girls only will be Aug. 19. The first day for preschool and kindergarten boys on will be Aug. 20. all preschool and kindergarten students will attend classes on Aug. 21.
New staff members for the district includes Emily Curnutte, Spanish; Philip Powers, high school math; and Kasandera Knief, music/band.
Jackson Center Local Schools
Jackson Center will be hosting all of the county multi-handicapped units this school year, reports Superintendent Bill Reichert, who said all MH classes will be under roof for the the school year.
The district also is welcoming one new teacher. Elizabeth Baker will be teaching high school science. Laura Biederman is a special needs aide.
“We completed some minor updates to the existing playground and ball fields” over the summer, said Reichert.
“We are excited to start our third full year in our new/renovated buildings,” said Reichert. “We continue to make improvements and adjustments that create a tremendous learning environment for our students.”
Hardin-Houston Local Schools
There’s new leadership at Hardin-Houston Local Schools for the 2019-2020 school year. Ryan Maier is the new superintendent, taking over for Larry Claypool who retired at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
Students in grades 1-12 returned to the classroom Thursday, Aug. 15. The first day of kindergarten for girls is Thursday, Aug. 15. The first day of kindergarten for boys is Friday, Aug. 16. All kindergarten students will be in class on Monday, Aug. 19.
Maier had been the junior and senior high school principal. His replacement is Jeff Judy, who had been a junior high history teacher at Tri-Valley Schools for 10 years. Also new to the system is Danielle Poeppelman, junior and high school math teacher. She was a five-year middle school teacher at Fairlawn Local Schools before coming to Hardin-Houston..
David Hall is the new junior and high school intervention specialist. He had been employed at Springboro Schools for 13 years as an intervention specialist. Trevor Barhorst will be the fourth-grade math teacher. H was employed for two years at Lima City Schools as an elementary school teacher.
“At the junior high and high school level we are expanding our Wildcat Time program,” said Maier. “This program will still emphasize student enrichment and intervention activities, but will be enhanced by student driven topics critical for individual student successes in school and after graduation.”
Facility updates include the completion of the varsity baseball field and sanitation system upgrade. The baseball project includes a new baseball playing field, concession/restroom storage building, batting cage, and spectator viewing platforms. The sanitation upgrades included a new chain link fence, retaining wall, and new outlet tile. The district also had its 1979 high school gymnasium tuck-pointed and water sealed this summer.
“Special events planned for the year include the inaugural Hardin-Houston Wall of Honor,” said Maier/ The first class will be inducted in the middle of the school year. The application process can be located on the school website.”
Previews of school districts starting school next week will appear in a future edition of the newspaper.